Each of the five riding days begins the same way. Due to the short days in October and November, we maximize sunlight (and beat the afternoon heat) by setting out very early.
We start riding between 6:30-7am. Each rider is responsible for setting their own alarm to wake up each morning, so it is a good idea to bring a travel alarm clock. You will bring your luggage from your room to the designated areas in the lobby, so it is essential for you to pack light and in one bag. Laptops and tablets should be padded with clothing in your luggage bag.
Breakfast is served at the hotel before we depart, and bike mechanics and lead stretching are available before our departure. Time is also set aside for morning prayers early in the morning.
We aim to arrive at the hotel each afternoon around 3pm when your room will be ready. You can claim your room keys and gather your luggage from the Israel Ride welcome desk (unless your luggage was already brought to your room) that will be set up in the reception area of each hotel.
Guests who arrive before 3 pm may not have rooms available.
Upon arrival, there is time to relax at each hotel (many of which have a pool or bar). All overnight stays have internet access, although there is a fee at the hotels. Dinner is followed by a short route briefing about the route of the following day. Some evenings will feature a presentation on an environmental topic, often by an alum of the Arava Institute who is part of the crew. Optional evening prayer services are offered after the educational program of the evening.
We encourage all riders to head to bed early, and to pack before going to sleep.
The Israel Ride is a fully supported event. We provide a full support-and-gear (SAG) service on the road.
Each of our three riding groups has its own mechanics, pace cars, sweep bus, medical personnel, and crew teams to help with rest stops and riding. Lead riders pace (in front) and sweep (in back) each group as well as provide general bicycle support. Tour guides accompany each group to provide education at rest stops.
Bike mechanics help with flat tires and other minor incidents on the road. Our mechanics carry standard bicycle tubes and supplies, but we encourage riders to bring tubes that match their tires. We also have a few spare bikes in case of a major mechanical issue so you can get back to biking.
Finally, our crew teams run rest stops, cheer riders up tough hills, and take pictures. All the crew (and some lead riders) are alumni of either the Arava Institute or Hazon. We encourage riders to interact with the crew to understand more about their experiences at the Arava Institute and Hazon.
Arava Institute alumni are diverse and talented people. They are students and professionals from Israel, Jordan, Palestine, and around the world who take a break from their lives, just like you, to enjoy the experience of being on the Israel Ride.
Rest Stops and Pit Stops
We have a scheduled rest stop about every 15 miles. Riders must stop at each rest stop so that we can keep the riding groups together. Each rest stop has water, energy drink, and snacks. These stops either have natural shade or we provide a shelter. Riders are strongly encouraged to cool down in the shade at each rest stop. For areas without a bathroom, we create a private pop-up bathroom facility. While you rest, our tour guide and environmental educators will teach about the geography, history, landmarks, and environmental issues of the area.
Throughout the Ride, we provide nuts, dried fruit, halva, and energy bars. If you have a particular energy bar brand that you prefer, we suggest bringing some to the Ride.
While the Israel Ride is open to those of all faiths, throughout the week we offer various Jewish prayer options, and come together as a community on Friday night and Saturday to celebrate Shabbat, the Jewish Sabbath. While all of our ritual activities are optional, we strive to strike a balance that allows riders to practice as they see fit but to also experience other facets of Jewish tradition if they choose.
Depending on the composition of the Israel Ride community, we attempt to offer daily prayer both in the early mornings and evenings for those interested. On Sunday morning, we schedule an outdoor prayer service that includes music, explanation, and meditation, while giving those who prefer a traditional service space as well.
All hotels that we stay at throughout the Ride are kosher under the supervision of the Israeli Rabbinate. All food which is provided by the Ride on the road is kosher as well.